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Under Pressure This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By , Flushing, NY
The higher they get, the higher they rise. They all smoke to be cool and to socialize. Some call it a drug and some call it a delicacy, but whatever you call it, it's still just marijuana to me.

“Yo, I just bought some granddaddy kush. Wanna smoke it after school?” The question was posed for a general response. I was the minority, the only one who didn't smoke. Immediately the conversation turned to drugs, so I just stared and ignored every word spoken.

Growing up with a dad who's an NYPD lieutenant and a mother who's an assistant principal, I was brought up to believe all drugs were bad and anyone who did them was bad. I've learned to “de-friend” acquaintances who do them in order to avoid negative influences.

At first I thought it was just a phase. I have been invited to “chill” and play handball. I know something is wrong when my friends gather in a circle. They take out the paper and fill it with marijuana. They light it and watch as the flame slowly erodes the blunt.

“Yo, Brian, you want some, bro? You should try it.”

I grow silent and pretend not to hear. They know I haven't and won't, so why do they continue to offer? I mean, I'm their friend, and I'm the only one who doesn't smoke. Can't they just do me a favor and stop smoking and talking about getting high around me?

My friends chuckle when I say this. They are so high their eyes are consumed with red.

“Yo, if you're going to be like that, just go. I don't need you. I have other friends,” Mark says. It's clear I'm not welcome.

It's not until September that it gets out of control. Everyone I've ever talked to has become enslaved by marijuana. In each class, I segregate myself. I don't want to hear their nonsense about whom they sold to or what they smoked. I try to ignore it. At times when I enter a room, they cease talking and mutter, “Shh … Brian is coming.”

In chemistry, I find out one of my best friends has been doing drugs. He tells the class he doesn't know what's so bad about smoking pot and admits to having done it on several occasions. I am so disappointed and upset. He has been lying to me for so long, promising he would never do drugs. Instead of confronting him, I choose to just ignore him.

Since then he has asked mutual friends why I'm angry at him, but he never receives an honest answer. Along with being disappointed that he's done drugs, I'm upset that he chose to hide it and lie.

Even though I have chosen to lose friends because of drugs, it has taken a major toll on me. Being the odd one out or the minority leads people to judge me. I'm the only one of my friends who isn't into drugs. Whenever people find out that I hate drugs, they ignore me and don't accept me. Everyone should be allowed their opinion, and this is mine. It's my choice to stay sober. If the consequences are having fewer friends, being judged, and not being accepted, I'd still rather be sober than popular and addicted to drugs.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 17 comments. Post your own!

licia=isaac said...
Jan. 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm:
hove yo ever ended up like ways you honestly would know how the person felt in that situation
 
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i dont smoke said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm:
i dont smoke anymore. but this kids a total PUSS
 
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are you serious? said...
Dec. 31, 2010 at 6:19 pm:
I do not agree with this article. No one has any right at all to tell someone what they can or cannot do with their bodies. Furthermore, there are plenty of people who smoke weed and live normal lives. It's definately possible to ruin your life with weed and other drug and quite a few people manage to do just that. However, it is their fault alone do not blame the weed. People who are smart enough to use it moderately and responsibly should not be looked down upon or punished because of tho... (more »)
 
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vinny said...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm:

I go to a Military high school. My Gunnery Sargent said" I don't need dope to be a dope." Well that refers to marijuana and all illegal drugs. It doesn't look cool. It will be the dumbest thing that you do in your life.

Just say no!

 
Really? replied...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm :

I respect your opinion, I just want to say that you might benefit from opening your mind and looking at marijuana from different perspectives. I know people who started off smoking it which lead to them abusing other drugs which I think is horrible. 

But there are also people who smoke it to keep themselves from abusing other, more harmful drugs. 

Ever heard of medical Marijuana? There are a huge number of benefits that have been proven. 

I admire that you ... (more »)

 
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AMW710 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm:
I agree with this more; in my hood there are boys who have lost their dads and don't have anybody to depend on as a dad. They hang with this group of boys that do drugs, and make them do it. I figure we shouldn't let anybody influence us to do unwanted activities that they do. I love this topic.<3
 
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hnw415 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 11:49 am:
I definitely can relate to this. Many of my friends do drugs. Sometimes I feel like the odd one. I don't do drugs to look cool, and I don't intend to. My friends have never pressured me to do the drugs, and if they ever do I'd expect them to respect my choices.
 
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dpsh307 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 10:45 am:
I can relate to you. Where I am from, the only way you're considered cool is if you do drugs. I have been raised similarly to you; my parents taught me that drugs can only hurt me at the end of the day. I also used to have many friends who are currently addicted to marijuana. It isn't cool being the odd one out, but it is safe. You aren't alone, and I believe you're a strong person for just staying out of the whole situation.
 
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hellokittylover said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 11:05 am:
i agree big time with this passage. drugs can mess up your life like crazy. its unbeilevable how many people smoke these days.
 
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jwow21 said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 10:57 am:
I agree with this passage because drugs are really bad for you. Anyone who does drugs can go to jail for it. My one friend had to go to jail because of drugs. Everyone should relize that drugs can make your life go down hill and how wrong it is.
 
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PrincessButterfly said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 5:47 pm:
The important thing to know is that you are not alone.  You are speaking up for all of us who feel like you do but are afraid to say it.  You sound like a great guy...your folks must be proud!
 
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Dylanjegart said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm:
This article shows that you don't have to give in under peer pressure. It gives people the courage to just say no to drugs. This shows that drugs aren't needed for social interaction.
 
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wlj611 said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm:
It takes courage to stand up against drugs especially at a young age. You may lose friends in the process of not using drugs, but at the end it is worth it. Sometimes it is easier to use drugs then to say no. It is a good choice to stay sober.Loosing your friends who use drugs is not such a bad thing after all.
 
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BMC601 said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm:
To be able to say no to drugs in front of all your friends takes a huge amount of courage. If your friends do drugs and try to make you do drugs then they are not your friends. My advice would be to find different friends. 
 
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6605clj said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm:
I understand how you feel i'm the minority in my group of friends, too. It takes bravery to walk away from your friends who do drugs. Drugs can harm the lungs. Eventually, Brian will start to notice the reason your angry at him. Many teenagers are addicted to marijuana and you shouldn't be pressured to do something you know isn't right.
 
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104lmb said...
Oct. 26, 2010 at 8:56 am:
It takes bravery to stand up and say no to smoking pot. I know how you feel because at my school last year almost everyone was talking about selling or smoking pot. It is way easier to give in and smoke weed, than it is to say one word. Saying no is always going to be hard, but it is always possible. I know being around it all the time makes it worse because someone in my family does it, but what is important is just saying no to them.
 
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alaskan_girlz said...
Mar. 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm:
I totally feel like you sometimes...many people in my school are also addicted to marijuana and i always feel like im the only one who doesnt use it....and im proud of that! you should be proud that u dont get high too! i think that marijuana shouldnt be around at all but what can we do about it you know? no matter how u feel ...just stay drug free! its better than smoking up a joint and wasting your money on weed everyday!
 
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